Holiday time for Harrington

By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington plans to keep the thrills and spills coming this week - with a rollercoaster holiday in Florida.

The Dubliner completed a white-knuckle ride since his Open win with a damp squib finish in the US PGA at Southern Hills.

Sapped of energy, he ran out of steam as he closed with a four over par 74 to tie with pal Darren Clarke on eight over.

But he plans to recharge his batteries for the megabucks $10 million FedEx Cup series by taking his family for a week's holiday at Walt Disney World.

Harrington said: "I will be on the roller-coasters tomorrow. I need a week off and hopefully one will be enough.

"I won't even have my golf clubs with me. They will be sent on to the Barclays Classic in Westchester.

"My physio Dale Richardson has told me to be careful with my neck on the rides they have in the theme parks. But it is not for me, it is for my son Paddy.

"If I get a bad neck, Dale will be at the Barclays anyway. The neck went at Carnoustie and that worked out fine."

Five bogeys and just one birdie told the story of Harrington's final round.

He bogeyed the first two holes after missing greens and while drained a 40 footer for birdie at the third, he dropped shots at the ninth, 11th and 12th to finish in the bottom half of the field.

Assessing his fist major appearance since Carnoustie, Harrington confessed that he simply didn't have enough in the tank to keep going.

He said: "I ran out of steam. I don't think the weather helped me but I don't think it stopped me.

"The last couple of weeks coming in have got a lot to do with it. I am trying too hard. I am looking forward to the week off after the last couple of weeks.

"Things have been very, very busy and I can see it in my game when I get like that. It was very evident.

"It is all good experience. I am the sort of person who tries harder and that is not what you want to do in these situations. I can see that in my game now and that is not a bad thing.

"I am not beating myself up for not having the best day out there. You need to be 100 percent for these events and I wasn't this week.

"I had a busy week after the Open at home and a fairly busy start to the week at Firestone."

Harrington's hopes of a major double were blown away on Saturday when he fell 11 shots behind Tiger Woods.

And while he failed to end the event on a high, the Open keeps him upbeat off the golf course.

On Saturday, Harrington said: "Every day I say it to myself. I'm Open champion. But I wouldn’t do it out on the golf course, but if I had a bad day out on the golf course, I would certainly use it as a reason not to get down on myself.

"I don’t use it as a motivational thing. I want to push on. I don’t need to relax. Certainly, I’m not going to beat myself up for shooting 72 today. I’m the Open Champion.

"You just have to realise that whatever score you shoot, it’s not a reflection on who you are. Golfers are judged all their time by their score but realistically if I win the Open I still get only one vote in the Irish election.

"They don’t give me two votes, do they. So I’m no better person in that sense. And that would be the same if I go out there and shoot 75. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.

"I think some golfers walk off the course and let a score totally determine how they feel. As I always say, if you miss a putt on the last and you shoot 69, you go in and eat your lunch and you’re in a bad mood.

"If you hole a putt on the last to shoot 70, you are in a good mood. How does that make sense. It’s human nature but you have to work hard to avoid it.”